Homeowners often wonder if signing up for an HVAC Service Agreement is a smart move or an avoidable expense. Let’s examine that question to help you decide.
Service Agreements (also called Maintenance or Preventative Maintenance Agreements) are annual arrangements between you and a quality HVAC contractor for scheduled inspections and maintenance of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Inspections covered by Service Agreements are generally scheduled for the Spring and Fall to maintain peak efficiency, help keep utility bills lower, extend the life of your HVAC system and avert failures. Most agreements provide for an inspection of the entire HVAC system as well as routine maintenance (such as replacing or cleaning filters).
Think about these four objectives to determine if an HVAC Service Agreement makes sense for you and your home:
1. Save money by using less energy
Many factors affect HVAC energy consumption, but let’s start with the basics. Imagine your furnace is like a clothes dryer. Now, imagine not cleaning out the lint trap on the dryer and trying to dry your clothes. Clearly, the dryer will run harder and for a longer time trying to force all the air through a congested lint trap. The same is true for a furnace or A/C unit that has an old or dirty air filter that should be changed on a regular basis. Unfortunately, HVAC is typically out of sight and out of mind. A quality service plan provides the maintenance, filters and friendly reminder to make sure your equipment is clean, running efficiently and using less energy.
Now, let’s talk Air conditioning! Equally important is the coil in the ductwork that transfers heat from the inside to the outside. The inside coil needs to be cleaned periodically to maintain the effectiveness of cooling while the outside coil needs the same periodic level of attention. When these coils are not maintained (cleaned and checked), the amount of energy used is significantly higher and drives up operational cost (your electric bill). Again, being out of sight and out of mind, these systems are easily overlooked.
It is not uncommon for the monthly reduction in energy use, by itself and measured monthly, to cover the cost of the service contract.
2. Save money by making your equipment last longer
Comparing two equal HVAC systems, one being dirty (not maintained) and the other maintained, the maintained system will last longer. The reason is simple: a dirty system must run longer than a clean system to get the same job done. The more a system works, the closer is to reaching its ultimate working lifespan. Working more efficiently is a key ingredient to longevity for a furnace or air conditioning system and extending the life can literally save thousands of dollars.
3. Save money by avoiding unscheduled repairs
We’ve learned two key points from above, first is the amount of energy used in a clean system is less than a dirty system. The second is that a clean system will outlive a dirty system. The third – and frequently overlooked – point is that unscheduled maintenance is very expensive! Often, system failures are discovered during non-business hours, as the homeowner returns at the end of the day to a home that is either too hot or cold. The resulting after-hours service call is usually at a premium cost and may require the technician to return the next day to repair or replace the part. This scenario is common and costly to both the homeowner and the technician. The homeowner must pay the overtime rates and the technician must take time out of their evening or weekend to solve the problem.
4. Accelerate service response with emergency priority
Problems are amplified when the weather gets extreme. Not only is it more vital to fix the system quickly, but very hot or very cold temperatures take their toll on homes across the region, so demand for service gets very heavy. In these circumstances, homeowners may be forced to call around to anyone who might be able to help. This can make them vulnerable to HVAC “wolves” who try to take advantage of the situation.
A reputable HVAC company will always prioritize its service agreement customers, putting them to the top of the list for emergency service. This eliminates the frantic search for help and ensures homeowners that they have a company they know, trust and can rely on when needed.
An HVAC Service Agreement can be a very smart investment that pays off in lower energy costs, longer equipment life, fewer unscheduled repairs and peace of mind in emergency situations.
At Fry Heating & Cooling, our Service Agreements are offered as an affordable, monthly subscription, making it easy for our customers to afford and reap the benefits. Call us at 419-472-1106 to learn more.